Chorchori (Mixed Vegetables) 

This recipe is a hot favourite of Bengalis. My personal belief about the origin of this recipe is that in earlier times there used to be a joint family system in most of the households. Bengalis have always been fond of food and the variety of food on their platter would require  lots of  fresh vegetables. The peels of the vegetables must have been quite a lot in quantity. Instead of  wasting and throwing away the peels they came up with the concept of chorchori. All the members including the helpers  and the servants would have gotten to eat a good share. Not to  forget the widows who, in those days were not allowed to have the non-vegetarian fare. This tasty dish would have satiated their taste buds. Interestingly, the word Chorchori comes from the noise made by the sizzle of the vegetables and their peels inside the wok. In course of time, chorchori has occupied a very loved and adored place in Bengali meals. 

This preparation doesn’t have any  fixed set of veggies. The best thing is,  you can use whatever you want to  and how much ever you want to. I have mentioned whatever I have used in this recipe but you can let your imagination run wild.

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Shukto (Veggies cooked with Bengali  Five Spice Mix) 

Shukto is a Bengali delicacy served with rice and fish curry and  I believe, its actually is a palate cleanser. Bengalis are known for their sweets but what people do not know is, a bitter tasting dish is a part of a their everyday afternoon meal. There has been quite a debate about the origin of Shukto because some say it is Portuguese in origin. They had a similar dish which they cooked with Bitter-gourd or Karela but, when Bengalis cook Shukto, they incorporate lot of  summer veggies with karela and bori(dal kisses) . A sweet touch  by adding milk and sugar transforms this dish to a different level altogether. 

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 Cabbage and potato Cooked in Bengali Style

This recipe is typical of bengali households barring the fact that some love to have it little sweet. My version is not sweet though. I strongly believe that the cutting of this vegetable plays a very important role in enhancing the taste. I have shown in the pics below as to how I exactly cut it. I tried  using the food processor,  but that didn’t work very well as it affects the look of the ready dish. And as I always believe that, its your eyes that eat first. 

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Eggplant Sauteed With Tomatoes and Fenugreek leaves( Methi Begun)

A very simple,  no onion and no garlic dish that cooks very fast. I love to have this with plain rice but you can have this with any flatbread. I would rather, you keep your plate ready before you start making this. As you sautee, the aroma of fenugreek leaves fills the air and you tend to feel very hungry. This dish is very good for diabetics. Whole cooking process is done on a high flame.

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 Fish cooked in mustard gravy( Macher Jhaal) 

Traditionally, Bengal has been renowned for its extraordinarily fertile agricultural land and production of paddy. At the same time, the rivers of Bengal are an apparently inexhaustible resource of different varieties of fish. That is why, since the ancient times, rice and fish emerged as the staple food for the Bengalis. Each variety  of fresh water fish involve a different way of being cooked and different set of masalas. In one of my previous posts, I have mentioned how to make a mustard paste. The mustard powder I have used in this particular recipe is a dry mix which can be kept in the fridge for years.This fish known as Rui in Bengali  and comes in all sizes begining from 500 gms to 10 kgs or even more.

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Bengali Masoor Daal ( Red lentils)

Lentils have been eaten by humans since Neolithic times and were one of the first domesticated crops. In the Middle East, lentil seeds have been found, dating back to more than 8000 years. In Judaism, lentils are considered to be a food for mourners because of their round shape symbolizing the circle of life. The Greek playwright Aristophanes called lentil soup the “sweetest of delicacies”. Lentils have also been found in Egyptian tombs from as far back as 2400 BC. In India, the lentil is known as dal or daal. For many centuries, lentils were considered to be “the poor man’s meat.” In Catholic countries, those who couldn’t afford fish would eat lentils during Lent instead. In the 18th century, King Louis XV’s wife, Marie Leszczynska, made lentils fashionable among royalty and they were nicknamed “the queen’s lentils”.

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Potatoes cooked in poppy seed paste( Aloo Posto)

Potatoes cooked in Poppy Seed Paste

There are very less dishes where poppy seed is used as the main ingredient.But, its not new for Bengalis.For us, whenever we want something very tasty and comforting we cook with poppy seed paste.Potato can be replaced by pointed gourd or even ridge gourd.It tastes as good.We combine onions with potatoes at times. Continue reading “Potatoes cooked in poppy seed paste( Aloo Posto)”

Jhaal Muri(Hot and Spicy Puffed Rice)

Jhaal Muri
Jhaal Muri

I have no words to describe this ultimate evening Bengali snack.It is very light with a wide array of nutrients and is completely subject to your imagination and liking, no wonder the Queen of England loves it too. The only principle you have to strictly adhere to, is to not add anything that makes the rice puffs go soggy. Its not required that you add all the ingredients that I have added. A little here and there is okay. Continue reading “Jhaal Muri(Hot and Spicy Puffed Rice)”